LUKE O'NEILL is predicting his former manager Russ Wilcox will be a success at his old club.

The 23-year-old right back, who made 16 appearances and scored one goal for York City during a three-month loan spell from Burnley last season, was recruited for Scunthorpe on the same basis by Wilcox at the start of the current campaign.

He has since started 11 matches for the Iron - all but one under Wilcox before he was relieved of his duties last week - making him qualified to comment on the job he expects his ex-boss to do at York City.

Despite Wilcox suffering eight defeats in 11 Sky Bet League One matches at the Scunthorpe helm this term, O'Neill reckons the South Elmsall-born chief's record-breaking, 28-match unbeaten run last season, which lifted the Lincolnshire club up a division, bodes well for the Minstermen.

"I enjoyed working under him and wish him all the best at York," O'Neill said on hearing of Wilcox's appointment. "The experience he had getting Scunthorpe promoted last season will be good for York and there should be exciting times ahead there.

"His managerial skills are decent and I was pleased he brought me to Scunthorpe. I think he will do well and I'm pleased he has got back into work.

"I couldn't really answer why it didn't go as well for him this season because I wasn't at Scunthorpe last season. All I know is we've got a good bunch of players and we just had an unfortunate run of results that didn't go for us."

The Former England under-17 international also insisted that the Minstermen's slow start to the campaign should not lead to too much cause for concern following last season's transformation from relegation candidates at the turn of the year to play-off, semi-finalists in May.

He added: "I've not been looking too much at what's been happening at York, but they were struggling last season as well before putting that run together, so I don't think there's anything to be worried about."

O'Neill went on to express his surprise at the resignation of Nigel Worthington, who brought him to North Yorkshire this time last year, saying: "He's a great bloke and I spoke to him not so long ago. I've always kept in contact with him and I'm not sure what happened at York."

The Slough-born, full back would not reveal whether Worthington had discussed a possible return to Bootham Crescent following Lanre Oyebanjo's decision to move to Crawley at the end of last season, but explained that such a move would not have been on the agenda anyway.

"No disrespect to League Two but, personally, I want to be moving up divisions and playing as high a level as I can, so coming back to York was never really on the cards," he declared.

Hoping to buck trend

NEW chief Wilcox is aiming to become the Minstermen's first permanently-appointed manager to taste victory in his first match in charge since Chris Brass began his ill-fated reign with a 2-1 triumph at Carlisle back in 2003.

Since then, only caretaker chiefs Andy Porter and Colin Walker have got off to winning starts.

Walker, who triumphed 2-1 at Weymouth in 2007, was later given the job on a full-time basis but Porter only lasted three more games despite beating Tamworth 3-1 in his maiden match four years ago.

The defeated host manager on that day - Gary Mills - got the job instead after current City assistant manager Steve Torpey had held the fort for one match - a 4-0 thrashing at Newport.

Future double-winning Wembley boss Mills drew his opening game 1-1 at home to Bath City, while Wilcox's predecessor Worthington kicked off with a 3-2 loss at AFC Wimbledon.

Otherwise, the honours were shared in the first fixtures under Martin Foyle (1-1 at Salisbury), caretaker Neil Redfearn (2-2 against Crawley) and Billy McEwan (1-1 at Forest Green).

Viv Busby, meanwhile, went down 1-0 at Woking after taking over from Brass.

Immediate impact by new striker

DIEGO de Girolamo's debut might have only lasted 48 minutes but he has still become the front-runner in The Press' Player of the Month for October contest.

The on-loan Italian under-20 international was our second-highest rated player during last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Newport despite being substituted following skipper Russell Penn's early, second-half sending off.

That earned him two points towards the standings and he doubled that tally by winning our on-line, man-of-the-match poll as well.

The Sheffield United forward is now level with Femi Ilesanmi in the competition for the monthly prize.

Ilesanmi was our star man at Rodney Parade, collecting three points for his efforts, with Lewis Montrose (one point) also recognised as our third-highest rated player.

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month for October with a framed photograph at Bootham Crescent, vote for your man of the match from today’s game at home to Shrewsbury on this website or by tweeting @daveflettpress

The Press Player of the Year standings: McCombe 10, Penn 10, McCoy 9, Ilesanmi 8, Coulson 7, Lowe 7, Straker 7, Summerfield 6, Ingham 5, Fletcher 3, Jarvis 3, Montrose 3, De Girolamo 2, Hyde 2, Winfield 2.

The Press Player of the Month for October standings: De Girolamo 4, Ilesanmi 4, McCoy 3, Montrose 3, Brunt 1, Penn 1.

Goals: Fletcher 3, Hyde 2, Lowe 2, Coulson 1, De Girolamo 1, Penn 1, Winfield 1.

Assists: McCoy 3, Coulson 2, Meikle 2, Hyde 1, Lowe 1, Straker 1, Summerfield 1.

Bad boys: Penn three yellow, one red; Hyde, Penn two yellow; Ilesanmi, Lowe, McCombe, McCoy, Montrose, Platt, Straker all one yellow.